Healthcare systems continue to face increasing challenges to secure patient data. From a 1988.6% increase in malware attacks since 2015 to data theft fueling the opioid crisis, the challenge for most organizations is finding the time to defend against these growing threats.
These challenges are driving many of our customers, and other health systems, to become more efficient, productive, and proficient in securing their organizations. And they’re doing so in what the security and privacy industry are calling the “perfect storm”. This means the severity of breaches are going up, the ability to hire is going down, and the complexity and scale of security and compliance are becoming more challenging.
We are incredibly fortunate to have a customer base that cares to go the extra mile to connect with us. By participating in webinars, attending training, sharing their experiences in case studies, and more, they can enhance their programs to protect their patients’ most sensitive health information. The inspiring part is that they do all of this with less and less time in their days.
Below are the challenges our customers identified as time-eaters. By combating these concerns, they were able to gain more time back in their day.
Challenges Healthcare Organizations Faced in 2017
Mitigating or remediating a major incident. No matter the organization’s size, responding to an incident monopolizes your time. When our customers experience a security incident, we see their time diverted to mitigation efforts instead of initiatives spent providing improved patient care. This impacts all departments, no matter the role or title.
Difficulty finding qualified staff. When patients seek care, they expect their provider to have the right qualifications and certifications. Why should our expectations change for those responsible for keeping our health information secure and private? For many health systems, this is an ongoing challenge. According to a survey conducted by Ponemon Institute, the top security threat on executive’s minds is the human factor. Specifically, the lack of competent in-house staff and inadequate in-house expertise. Finding the right people, training them, and then retaining them has proven to be a difficult task. Your end-users need to know clinical workflows, audit data, and best practices. Many customers want the certainty of knowing that this formula will be consistent.
Merging or acquiring health systems. Almost monthly, we read of new health system consolidations. With every new headline, we’re introduced to a newly formed health system resulting in the formation of the newest and largest healthcare organization. To remain competitive, health systems must find new ways to deliver care more efficiently but on a much larger scale. This includes not only patient care but also the privacy and security of patients. These programs and technologies must seamlessly scale without interruption or lag.
How FairWarning Customers Overcame 2017’s Challenges
As challenges arise, healthcare organizations must become more resourceful. Our customers have had the most success with prioritizing their privacy, security and compliance strategies against finding the right technology and employees.
Investing in User Activity Monitoring. This strategy is meant to be implemented with a Trust but Verify® mentality. According to Gartner, the insider threat is the fastest growing threat – and not all threats are intentional or malicious. Some users are simply negligent or their credentials have been stolen. By investing in software that not only detects unusual activity but alerts you when the activity occurs, you can better prevent a security incident. Also, by adopting the right software, you will also save time by not having to sift through thousands of log files to find anomalies.
Partnering with a Managed Security Service Provider. Whether your organization is struggling to acquire the best talent or have experienced a merger and acquisition (or plan to), partnering with a managed security service provider can help you secure your most sensitive data. As an extension of your team, MSSPs are highly trained and/or certified professionals who are dedicated to monitoring your organization’s security. With this dedicated team on your side, you will have a scalable security solution that helps you ensure the protection your ePHI needs through time.
Striving for innovation and collaboration. It’s not enough to implement technology and hire the right team. Our customers continue to be successful because they strive for innovative thinking and collaborate with their peers. Through collaboration, healthcare providers can share best practices in building and improving their privacy, compliance and security programs.
Even though challenges arise as health organizations grow and change, our customers have found relief by taking advantage of our specialized services. FairWarning’s Managed Privacy Services helps our customers perform the daily monitoring, documentation of investigations, and governance reporting that address the above challenges – but most importantly saves you valuable time.
“Our organization implemented FairWarning to allow us to do more proactive monitoring for privacy concerns without increasing our FTE count. FairWarning helps us protect our patients’ confidential information and also provides the means to demonstrate compliance with our company as recommended by OCR.” – South Eastern Health System